Review of the Classic Cantabile Acoustic Series RS-1 Resonator Guitar

Growing up in Chattanooga with 3 older brothers, all Blues musicians, I guess it comes as no surprise that I was known as the “Blues Tomboy” from a very young age. My very first guitar was an acoustic Yamaha – birthday present when I turned 10, and from there on I´ve been saving and collecting guitars. I eventually was lucky enough to find a job working in a music store, surrounded by all the guitars I could ever want to play!

Being a proud American girl, my favorite brands have always been Dean and Fender. They are built really well, they deliver a good performance, and customers are usually very happy with them. Yes, they are more expensive than some other brand guitars, but as with anything you get what you pay for.  That being said, we got a new guitar called Cantabile Acoustic RS-1 which is probably the cheapest guitar we´ve ever had.

All of us were very impressed with this guitar though, in spite of the price. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that they are able to sell it for the price they do, since it looks like and performs similarly to guitars that are way more expensive. The top, sides, back neck are all made of premium Mahogany with a Maple neck, with a beautiful 21 fret Rosewood fingerboard. My favorite tuners have always been Grovers, and this guitar has them! Of course, some people like to change the nut tuners for bone nut but in my opinion this is unnecessary.

For me, the key selling point of it though is pickup with a 4-band equalizer – not something you would expect on a budget guitar. Another good selling point is that the guitar does not have any of the buzzes or flats as you go up the neck, typically found on many resonators. This obviously means that you don´t have to adjust the action, unless you prefer to lower it, depending on your playing style. Don´t attempt to do this on your own, better ask a professional since you can cause damage to the cone or biscuit.

It looks really classical with the unfinished wooden look, yet the body is modern and very well crafted with equally modern electronics. I´m talking pickup that I mentioned, which lets you control tone and volume. The pickup gives a good sustain but it does lose some of that nice twang, although it makes up for that by giving a hollow-body effect. I had a friend tell me that he changed the pickup to one with a hotter output which worked really well for him. If you attempt to do this, remember to ensure that the one you get is of the same length. While playing around with the tone and volume settings, I was even able to crank out some fat tones similar to the older Gretsch resos! Most resonators sound great unplugged, but the moment you plug them into an amp they become a feedback nightmare. Not with this guitar!


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